Galaxy GeForce GTS 450 Super OC 1GB Video Card

Today we have a look at the new GTS 450 from Galaxy, carrying with it the Super OC tag which has impressed in the past.

Manufacturer: Galaxy
17 minutes & 44 seconds read time

Introduction and Package


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While it might've taken a while initially to get the 400 series from NVIDIA, it's safe to say that over the last few months it's full steam ahead as we see more models from the company and even more variations from its partners.

The GTX 460 is a phenomenon; it's so much faster than it should be considering the cost and partners have just gone crazy with the model, offering all kind of variations including MSI who recently went all out with the HAWK version that offered us some insane overclocking potential.

As awesome as the GTX 460 is when it comes to value and performance, the bottom line remains that some people don't want to, or can't afford to spend in excess of $220 US for a video card. If you're looking for something around the $120 - $150 US mark the weapons of choice are the HD 5770 / HD 5750. The question we're going to answer today, though, is whether or not these cards are still the weapon of choice?

The Package

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Checking out the package, it's all very bare with not a whole lot going on. Inside we've only got a driver CD, Molex to 6-PIN PCI-E connector and some paperwork outside of the actual video card.

Card and Specifications

The Card

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Looking at the card, there's not much to it that you haven't seen before. In saying that, the whole design is a little different for the fan setup that Galaxy uses here, but for the most part there's very little difference.

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The fan does flip out the same as we've seen from the last few Galaxy cards, which gives you the chance to clean the heatsink and the fan itself without voiding the warranty. It's quite a cool little feature; especially if your computer gets quite dusty.

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As for the rest of the card, we've got a single 6-Pin PCI-E power connector, a single SLI connector letting you run up to two of these cards and in the I/O department we've got a single Dual-Link DVI, VGA and HDMI port.


This is a Super OC model from Galaxy, so of course the card comes overclocked. Before we look at its particular clocks, though, let's first look at what the reference GTS 450 will offer.

Compared to the GTX 460 1GB which carries with it a 336 / 675MHz / 1350MHz / 3600MHz QDR CUDA Core / Core Clock / Shader Clock / Memory Clock setup on a 256-bit memory bus, the GTS 450 carries a 192 / 783MHz / 1566MHz / 3600MHz QDR setup on a 128-bit memory bus. The two big changes are of course the drop in CUDA Cores and the memory bus being cut in half, which is again lower than the 768MB GTX 460 which carries the same clocks as its 1GB brother, but only a 192-bit memory bus.

Galaxy has done a fairly good job on the clocks here, really upping the ante on some of them.

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They've increased the core to 888MHz which in turn has increased the Shader to 1776MHz. As for the memory, they've moved from .5ns modules on the Super OC to .4ns and ramped the memory speed to a nice even 4000MHz QDR. While the core speed might seem a little weird, the number 8 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture which is clearly the main reason Galaxy has opted for it.

The increase to .4ns memory over .5ns is one of the biggest stand out points from the Super OC variation, though, and it's really given them the ability to ramp up the memory clock.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Mittoni, Noctua and Corsair.

Today we'll be looking at the new GTS 450 from Galaxy against the HD 5770 which is the under $200 US card of choice at the moment. We've also included the GTX 460 to see just what the difference between these two models is. The particular one we're using is the recently looked at Black version from ECS.

Just as I finished testing the Galaxy GTS 450 Super OC, a new driver from NVIDIA came in labeled the 260.52. This isn't the first time it's happened and as always we make the effort to make sure the launch card is as up to date as possible. For that reason we've got two versions of the Galaxy card in; one with the original driver we had and the other with the updated one. Both are clearly labeled in all graphs.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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3DMark Vantage performance is strong and while with the original driver it was on par with the HD 5770, you can see the updated driver gives the GTS 450 Galaxy Super OC a clear win.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Tessellation performance has been strong for NVIDIA since the launch of the GTX 400 series. Here's no different with the new GTS 450 having no issue outperforming both HD 5700 series cards.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

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RE5 performance is good. While the HD 5750 struggles to break the 60 FPS average at all resolutions, like the HD 5770 the GTS 450 doesn't have any problems at 1920 x 1200 and below. You can also see the updated driver gave us a little FPS bump.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

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We again see the performance at 1920 x 1200 and below is strong. We can see it's fairly in line with the HD 5770. The HD 5750 really has nothing on this card with it again unable to offer a 60 FPS average at any resolution here.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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While across the board the only card we see get an average above 60 FPS at any resolution is the GTS 460, the GTS 450 with the updated driver get's close like the HD 5770 at 1680 x 1050. The benchmark itself is actually quite intensive, though, so really, you could probably get away without having to change in game settings. If you did, though, only a small drop would be needed.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Lost Planet 2 is very intensive and across the board you see all cards struggle at our settings to put out a playable FPS. What we do see in this instance is the GTS 450 having no problems outperforming the HD 5770. While the FPS is too low for smooth gaming, it's clearly something that must be noted.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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Much like Lost Planet 2, AvP is very intensive. We again see the FPS across the board is below that 60 FPS number we want. In this instance, though, we see the GTS 450 fall a bit behind the HD 5770; it manages to only really outpace the HD 5750.

Benchmarks - Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Elezen (Male)
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Final Fantasy XIV, also known as Final Fantasy XIV Online, is the fourteenth installment in the Final Fantasy series. The game is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and is developed and published by Square Enix. The game takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea, which will have a contemporaneously aesthetic blend of science fiction and classic fantasy elements.

The battle and job systems will be different from the one previously used in Final Fantasy XI, which utilized experience points and level-based progression. Final Fantasy XIV is being designed to utilize a skill-based progression[15] system similar to that of Final Fantasy II. Character races will resemble and allow players to create avatars similar to ones in Final Fantasy XI. Group play has been de-emphasized, and now solo and group play have been balanced. Weapon use will alter "character development".

Note: Final Fantasy XIV gives us a score and not a normal FPS rating, our understanding is that anything around 2000 points or above is considered playable.

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Here you can see the new driver did wonders to the performance of Final Fantasy XIV. You can see that it's really gone from not playable to playable at the 1920 x 1080 test. While the 259.22 driver struggled against the HD 5750, the updated one flies past it and competes more with the HD 5770. While still behind, it's not by a lot.

Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark
Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane, with the camera having freedom to move in 3D at certain times during fights, for dramatic effect. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

All the characters and environments in Street Fighter IV are rendered as 3D models with polygons, similar to the Street Fighter EX sub-series Capcom produced with Arika. However, there are a couple of key differences. Art director and character designer Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, opted for non-photorealistic rendering to give them a hand-drawn look, with visual effects accented in calligraphic strokes, ink smudges and ink sprays during the fights.

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Across the board we've got great numbers from Street Fighter IV. The new driver seemed to boost performance slightly and put us slightly ahead of the HD 5770. You can see the HD 5750 again really lags behind here.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
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The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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The updated driver managed to boost our averages which have helped it easily seal the win against the HD 5770. As for what's playable, we've got no issues at 1920 x 1200; it comes as no surprise that the card does struggle at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

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Minimums are higher on the GTS 450 compared to the HD 5770, while averages are very similar. It's another win for the GTS 450 here and you can see we've got playable numbers at all resolutions which is fantastic.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.

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Across the board we see the cards struggle with AA and AF. Street Fighter IV is of course an exception and we're seeing an average above 60 FPS here which is great. We can also see the new driver really boosted performance in it and Mafia 2.

As for performance against the ATI offerings, the GTS 450 Super OC has no problems dealing with the HD 5750; it's a little tougher fight against the HD 5770 and we see it win some, and lose some.

Benchmarks - PhysX Tests

PhysX Tests

Here we're able to find out when PhysX is turned on in games that support it what kind of frame rates we're able to get. We always set PhysX to the highest possible in game settings while also keeping detail at its highest.

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Across the board we see the card struggles in dealing with PhysX in game, no matter what resolution we're at. In saying that, we're right on the edge at 1680 x 1050 which is fairly impressive; a 29 FPS minimum and 59 FPS average we would call playable.

Temperature Tests

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Temperature wise we're not dealing with anything out of the ordinary with the card coming in under 60c.

Sound Tests

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels are fairly standard. Compared to the other cards here there's not much separating them.

Power Consumption Tests

Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Power draw on the model is a little higher than I expected. It's right around the same power draw as the GTX 460 and a fair bit up on the HD 5700s. Saying that, 311 watt is still a very low number; it's something that most power supplies will be able to handle.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)

Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, Resident Evil 5, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Mafia 2 (PhysX Off), Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Final Fantasy XIV, Street Fighter IV, Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off) and our four High Quality tests which include Mafia 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Street Fighter IV and Far Cry 2.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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While NVIDIA say the model compares to the HD 5750, it really doesn't. It ultimately leaves the HD 5750 for dead, especially this overclocked variant from Galaxy. You can see here as well the extra boost in performance we got from the updated driver; it moved the card from trailing behind the HD 5770 to coming out in front.

Total Value Rating (TVR)

Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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The decision to use .4ns memory and overclock means the card incurs a higher cost. For that reason I thought its value would be closer to the HD 5700s. It's not, though; it really manages to stand out ahead of them.

Final Thoughts

NVIDIA say that the GTS 450 goes up against the HD 5750. While this may hold true for some variations of the model, it's clear that like the GTX 460 companies are going to offer some pretty hardcore OC models which in turn is going to increase the price. The Galaxy version is a key example; the price of the GTS 450 should be around $129 US which would put it smack on with the HD 5750. The decision for Galaxy to upgrade the memory and overclock the card means that the price has gone up to $150 US which is closer to the HD 5770.

The GTS 450 follows the winning formula that was seen in the GTX 460; offer a card that's priced well and give lots of headroom for companies to take advantage of. An AMD / NVIDIA partner said to me the other day on the topic of overclock ability that AMD is too strict and are ultimately shooting themselves in the foot.

This is so true; you just have to think about it. The GTS 450 carries with it a core clock of 783MHz and memory clock of 3600MHz QDR for around $129. Now, Galaxy is offering us 888MHz core clock and 4000MHz QDR for around $149. Say NVIDIA offered the GTS 450 at 850MHz / 4000MHz QDR for $139 and Galaxy offered exactly the same; the card doesn't look as impressive. It's no different, it's just the perception of the product.

We've been told, but yet to test that we should see above 900MHz out of the GTS 450. Again, you look at an overclocked card and 783MHz to 900MHz looks a lot better than 850MHz to 900MHz. NVIDIA are giving us a chance to really play with these cards; it's in turn creating so much more buzz around the models.

We have to ask, is the GTS 450 as good as the GTX 460? The card that has ultimately set the bar for value lately. The answer to that is yes, but only if you're gaming around the 1680 x 1050 mark. NVIDIA say the model is aimed at 22" and lower monitor users, so 1680 x 1050 and lower. Really, for the most part it doesn't have any issue with most games at this resolution. Some of the brand new ones, though, are going to need a little detail drop. That's to be expected at this price point, especially with how good some of these new games look.

The surprise was of course the fact that we were able to play a few games at 1920 x 1200, especially some of the older ones which is worth knowing. What it all comes down to, though, is if you've got $150, what do you spend your money on, The HD 5770 or the GTS 450? You'd have to lean towards the GTS 450. Performance between the models is similar, and yes, the GTS 450 does draw a little more power, but it's a low number anyway. The bottom line is that you would rather be sporting something new, and not something that's been around for over six months. If the HD 5770 was a clear winner then sure you would continue to buy that model. If you don't have any brand loyalty, though, and just want to buy the best card for your money, the chances are you'll probably lean more towards the GTS 450. And if you're looking for a fancy version of one, the Galaxy Super OC one is worth checking out, especially since Super OC means more than just a 25MHz overclock; it's a 100MHz+ increase on the core, 400MHz QDR increase on the memory and just faster memory.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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